The Story Of The Mike Stefanik Car That Brought Tears Sunday At The Sunoco World Series At Thompson

The Mike Stefanik built No. x6 car that his daughter Nicole drove Sunday at Thompson in tribute of her late father (Photo: Courtesy Ben Althen)

On Sunday, NASCAR and Thompson Speedway paid tribute to seven-time series champion Mike Stefanik before the running of the season ending Sunoco World Series 150.

Stefanik, the all-time winningest Whelen Modified Tour driver, died following an Ultra-Light plane crash on Sept. 15 in Sterling.

Prior to the running of the Sunoco World Series 150 a, red No. x6 Stefanik built Tour Type Modified appeared on the track to take laps to honor the man who built it.

Behind the wheel of the car was Stefanik’s daughter Nicole Coleman, who learned how to drive the car last week.

Nicole Coleman, daughter of the late Mike Stefanik, strapped into her father’s car for her tribute laps before the Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)
Nicole Coleman, daughter of the late Mike Stefanik, strapped into her father’s car with her mother Julie Stefanik before the Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

Late Sunday Ben Althen, a crew member on Chris Pasteryak’s Whelen Modified Tour team, shared a fascinating Twitter story on the car and it’s lineage.

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  1. Great history, Ben! Thanks for sharing Shawn.

  2. Sharpie Fan says

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a great read. Thank you both for sharing a great piece of modified history.

  4. Great history lesson Been. The only question is where does Mike Olsen fit in? He was involved in that car somehow, back in the day his name was dropped allot. It’s a shame that Mike Stefanik never went into production with that design, the modified scene would probably look allot different now.

  5. Mike was one of only a handful of people who not only drove, but also built and set up his race car successfully. I fear he was the last of his kind. Tragic indeed.

  6. Rob p it was Bud Olsen out of New Jersey. Mike drove their dirt asphalt house car. They built a body for the chassis that completely covered the right rear tire with a lot of aerodynamic downforce built in to the car, but after a private test at Thompson NASCAR called and came to look at the car and deemed the body nothing they wanted. Budd Olsen speed shop had the intention of producing Michael’s chassis in a joint venture but declined due to the politics involved in racing

  7. Skip’s comment a candidate for best comment of the year. Thanks.

  8. Interestingly, some of these cars were obtained by other teams and run for years. Never with the success as when Stefanik ran them. Mike had incredible talent.

  9. Thanks for the correction Skip. At one time Art Barry built a body with a bubbled left side that was supposed to be an aero advantage. They actually ran that for at least one season, but the idea never took off.

  10. Loved this history and back story. Awesome and thank you!

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